Cancun eats?

Planning a trip to Cancun and was wondering if anyone could recommend any good places to eat? I’m looking for hole in the wall type joints, not Michelins or hotel restaurants. If the locals can eat it, so can I. And no wine, just beer/tequila please.

Any advice appreciated!

When are you thinking about heading south?

Soon, very soon.

Spring Break time. Watch out ladies!


I was in the Yucatan over New Years. While I spent little time in Cancun, I can recommend a few hole in the wall places, as those tend to be what I look for while traveling:

There is no good hole-in-the-wall dining in the hotel zone. Take the bus down into the central district where you can parooze the streets and find good eats. Labna is a good bet; moderately cheap dining option with pretty solid food for the price.

I recommend a few tacquerita stands that I went to and little hole in the wall cafes, but I couldn’t tell you what they were called. The best way to see if it is good, in my travels in Mexico is:

1.) See if locals eat it
2.) If it is tacos/empenadas etc… look at the grill (quality of the meat, rapidity of the grilling) and look how stacked the condiment bar is…
3.) If it’s near a bustop, chances are its pretty tasty!

Best meal I had in Mexico was in Playa del Carmen, in the inner city at this hole in the wall. Only non-Mexican were myself and my date. We ate like champs for 10 bucks. Still can remember the avocado and chipotle sides.

Drink lots of water . . . [neener.gif]

Thank God. Finally a person who is NOT looking for Michelen restaurants, fine wines or BYO in Mexico. Sorry I can’t help with Cancun as I’ve not been there, but be sure to take a side trip to Cozumel, Isla Mujeres or Playa del Carmen. Ditto Tulum. I understand they’re worth every minute.

Agreed. Go to Tulum and stay at an eco-resort. Take a day trip to the ruins, enjoy the wonderful beaches and kitesurfing lessons.

Playa del Carmen has more nightlife and at this stage is far more comercialized, but offers great day trips out the Cozumel.

The little side snorkeling trips they try to set you up on by the docks are usually pretty crappy imo.


Just returned from a 4 day’er on Cancun Beach.
I can recommend a great “hole in the wall” on Kukulkan (South Bound side) just north of the Coral Negro Flea Market. (Hotel Zone KM.9)
It’s called MeXtreme. I say south bound because the street does a split for about 3 blocks.
Great food & drink. Indoor or outdoor. “Inexpensive”. We went there twice for lunch !

I just got back and had some nice meals, not great but I was on vacation. Best meal was at the Kunah restaurant in the Gran Melia hotel. I didn’t have the energy to go exploring Cancun city, I was on complete rest and relaxation and it worked wonders. We did hit Puerto Madero steakhouse (Argentinean), which was quite nice actually (had a nice Malbec). And the breakfast buffet at the Melia was to die for (the fruit was so fresh it was ridiculous), and I usually don’t like buffets.

If ever I go back, I’ll take these recommendations, but frankly I didn’t realize how much I needed the break and staying put and being lazy were just such good ideas I couldn’t resist.

Oh, and I did try some Mexican wine: Random Ramblings on Food and Wine: Mexican... wine?" onclick=";return false;

We’re heading down in a couple of weeks and staying midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Is there anywhere to buy decent wine and/or can I bring in a six pack? I’ve never tried to travel through customs with wine. Can I just check a 6 pack styro shipper?

Thanks Philip. We’re only staying 4 nights, so that would work out well!


Was thinking of going to Cancun/ Do you mind if I ask where you stayed?


We were staying at the Gran Melia, which, while nice, had its share of issues. I am not sure I’d recommend it, though when they finally did upgrade us the way they promised the room was amazing. If you’re there with family, it’s good as you can either go to the beach or the pools, the breakfast buffet is amazing (and I don’t like buffets usually), and the place has lots of convenient things.

If you’re there to get local culture, well then the hotel zone in Cancun is not for you. It’s more like Fort Lauderdale then anything really Mexican.

Thanks Michel – very helpful and just what I needed to know.

I would suggest unless you like the huge resort, all inclusive vibe that you travel south to at least Akumal, South Akumal, Soliman Bay etc and rent a house on the beach. They are great QPR and we stayed in one on Soliman Bay that came with a husband and wife team that did all the cooking which was absollutely fantastic. Traditional Mexican. Carne Asada, Chicken in Banana leaves, Lobster, Chile Rillenos etc. The fee for this was $400 for the week plus food. Best money I ever spent. We spent a night priior to this in the Cancun Hotel Zone at the Ritz. Although very nice property it was very Miami Beach, $18 Margaritas and all.

There is a great restaurant called Oscar y Lalo’s just north of Tulum on the highway. Best conch ceviche I ever had.